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but it may safely be asked, would they not have risen to still greater eminence had they possessed the advantage of classical learning? But it was not merely amidst the excitement of forensic duties that the great men I have referred to exhibited the greatness of their classical attainments. Follow them into the retirement of private life, and ask what were the relaxations, what the pursuits, that there relieved their minds from the pressure and fatigue of public duties ? Take I'itt and Fox, and in their private life you have conclusive evidence as to the favourite studies and occupations of each of them. In the preface by Lord Holland to Fox's History of James the Second, we have the following
“During his retirement, that love of literature and fondness for poetry which neither pleasure nor business had ever extinguished, revived with an ardour such as few in the eagerness of youth or in the pursuit of fame or advantage are capable of feeling. For some time, however, his studies were not directed to any particular object. Such was the happy disposition of his mind, that his own reflections, whether supplied by conversation, desultory reading, or the common occurrences of a life in the country, were always sufficient to call forth the vigour and exertions of his faculties. Intercourse with the world had so little deadened in him the sense of the simplest enjoyments, that, even in the hours of apparent leisure and inactivity, he retained that keen relish of existence, which, after the first impression of life, is so rarely excited but by great interest and strong passions. Hence it was, that in the interval between his active attendance in parliament, and the undertaking of his history, he never felt the tedium of a vacant day. A verse of Cowper, which he frequently repeated,
How various his employments, whom the world
Calls idle! was the accurate description of the life he was then leading; and I am persuaded that if he had consulted his own gratifications only it would have continued to be so.
But it was yet more difficult to fortify himself against the seductions of his own inclination, which was continually drawing him off from his historical researches to critical inquiries, to the study of the classics, and to works of imagination and poetry. Abundant proof exists of the effect of these interruptions, both on his labours and on his mind. His letters are filled with complaints of such as arose from politics, while he speaks with delight and complacency of whole days devoted to Euripides and Virgil.”
A still more recent testimony has been borne to the occupations of Pitt, in a letter published by the Marquess Wellesley, who combines 'high talent with eminent scholarship. I will read the followingextract from the letter.
"He was perfectly accomplished in classical literature, both Latin and Greek. The accuracy and strength of his memory surpassed every example which I have observed ; but the intrinsic vigour of his understanding carried him far beyond the mere recollection of the great models of antiquity in oratory, poetry, history, and philosophy: he had drawn their essence into his own thoughts and language; and, with astonishing facility he applied the whole spirit of learning to his daily use.
“Those studies were his constant delight and resort; at Holwood, in Kent (his favourite residence), and at Walmer Castle, his apartments were strewed with Latin and Greek classics; and his conversation with those friends who delighted in similar studies, frequently turned on that most attractive branch of literature; but he was so adverse to pedantry or affectation of superior knowledge, that he carefnlly abstained from such topics in the presence of those who could not take pleasure in them. In these pursuits, his constant and congenial conpanion was Lord Grenville, who has often declared to me that Mr. Pitt was the best Greek scholar he had ever conversed with. Mr. Pitt was also as complete a master of all English literature as he was undoubtedly of the English language. I have dwelt on this branch of Mr. Pitt's accomplishments, because I know not any source from which more salutary assistance can be derived, to chase from the spirits 'those clouds and vapours which'infest vacant minds, and, by self-weariness, render retirement melancholy and intolerable.”
Now, compare the tastes and habits of men like these with the tastes and habits of others, scarcely less eminent and public, who have not had the same resources. Says the biographer of Sir Robert Walpole, “ Though he had not forgotten his classical acquirements, he had little taste for literary occupations. He once thus expressed to me his regret on this subject : 'I wish I could take as much delight in reading as you do, it would be the means of relieving many tedious hours in my present life; but, to my misfortune, I derive no pleasure from such disquisitions.” Surely these testimonials and this contrast teach great lessons; surely they recommend to us the acquirement of those tastes, aud the cultivation of those studies, which, while they are the best solace of the cares and anxieties of life, are at the same time furnishing the mind with new stores of knowledge, and giving it capacity for new exertions.
Higgins, Printer, Dunstable
ON THE RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION OF THE
INMATES OF POORHOUSES.
The extensive alterations recently made in the poor laws of England, have deranged the old system of imparting religious instruction to the inhabitants of the work house. When the paupers were located in their respective parishes, they were under the eye of their teachers. Clergymen of all denominations were thus induced to administer religious knowledge, by their acquaintance with those who needed it, and also by the comparative liyhtness of the duty to be performed. Those who constituted a part of their flock were not neglected, when by misfortune or old age they entered the poorhouse. We, by no means, mean to affirm that on the old plan, paupers were always properly instructed in the grand truths of christianity; far from it; all we
intend is, that there were circumstances then, which in themselves, brought the pastors and the poor of the flock together.
But what is the case under the new administration of the poor laws? The bond of union referred to no longer exists. From numerous parishes paupers are brought to one, where they are entirely unknown, and therefore personal regard draws no religious instructer to chide their wanderings, or to soothe their sorrows. At the same time, the great increase in the number of objects claiming attention, is calculated to deter those whose office it is to go about doing good, from attempting their benefit. Ministers of the gospel, already fully employed with their respective charges, and, as we said before, attracted by no personal ties, cannot be expected to pay due attention to such a new and extensive field. The plain conclusion is, that voluntary benevolence is altogether inadequate to the exigencies of the case, and unless something more be done, the new poor law will inflict an injury of a most distressing kind upon those whom it is bound to provide with the means of obtaining present and future happiness.
Aware of this fact, the legislature has put into the hands of the guardians the power of selecting a minister of the gospel, who shall attend to the wants of the paupers, and who, being paid for his services, shall be responsible for the proper discharge of his duties. This arrangement, in itself, seems a good one. Had no enactment been made on such a vital subject as the religious instruction of these, u ho are